The appliance power ratings shown below are indicative only. We’ve used the highest that we could find for popular household appliances.

Electrical power is measured in watts, W, a unit of power. Electrical current is measured in amps, A, the rate at which it flows.

Domestic Portable Appliance Amps Used Watts Used
Laptop 3.42 787
Mobile phone <0.5 30
Kettle 13 3000
Satellite TV box <0.5 30
Printer <0.5 50
Radio <0.5 40
Radiator 8.5 2000
DVD player <0.5 28
Hair dryer 10.0 2200
Landline telephone <0.5 69
Computer, including monitor 3.0 600
Television 42″ HD 0.5 120
Games console 2.5 575
Washing machine 10 2200
Toaster 9.0 2000
Tumble dryer 11.0 2500
Dishwasher 10.0 2200
Iron 12.5 2800
Microwave 4.5 1000
Vacuum cleaner 9.0 2000
Radiator (oil filled) 13.0 3000

Further information

  • The fuse in a plug is a safety device designed to protect the lead rather than the appliance. It is a deliberate weak link in a circuit which will ‘blow’ if an electrical appliance or extension lead draws too much current due to either an overload or a fault. The blown fuse cuts off the electricity to stop the lead and appliance from overheating and causing a fire.
  • Appliances meeting the relevant product safety standards will always be fitted with a plug having a correctly-rated fuse. If you have to replace a fuse, it’s essential, having checked and corrected the reason for the fuse blowing, to replace it only with another of the same rating.
  • As a rule of thumb, fuses are rated according to the power rating of the appliance. Plugs for appliances rated up to about 700 watts should have a 3 amp fuse (coloured red).  Plugs for appliances rated between about 700 watts and 3000 watts (the maximum rating of a wall socket) should be fitted with a 13 amp fuse (coloured brown). (Some older appliances were fitted with 5 amp fuses (coloured black), which are still available to buy.)